by Claudia Williams
ATHLETCS: Four athletes from the region will represent Queensland this week at the Australian junior athletic championships in Sydney.
Sophie Grundy and Abbey Kapernick will pull on maroon for the first time while Jericho and Bree Pogany have experience competing at a national level.
The athletes qualified for the event at the Queensland junior athletic championships and at previous meets over the season which they can do because they live 200 kilometres from the championships.
Sophie will compete in the under-15 girls javelin at the championships.
"I was expecting it to be a lot harder to get in but it wasn't as hard as I thought,” she said.
For her first nationals Sophie's goal is to throw a personal best.
"I am nervous and excited,” she said.
This will be the third time Bree has competed in 400 metre hurdles at the championships and she is looking forward to testing her self against the top junior athletes in the country.
"It is good to verse really good athletes and knowing that the Olympians have run on the track,” she said.
"I am hoping not to stack and to get a PB.”
When competing in little athletics carnivals in Bree has the opportunity to run on synthetic tracks which is good practice for nationals as it is a different feeling to running on grass.
"The synthetics tracks are a lot faster and you don't have to watch for any holes on the ground,” she said.
Jericho will be at the start line for the U15 boys 200 metre hurdles, a different event to last years championships where he competed in the 800 metres.
"It is nerve racking because they are really fast and it is really hard there,” he said.
Abbey will be aiming for a personal best when she takes part in the U15 girls high jump.
Abbey took part in the Queensland championships under the guidance of her coach to get more experience.
She exceeded her own expectations by jumping a personal best of 1.6 metres.
In doing so she took home a silver medal and qualified for nationals.
"We only decided at the last minute that we were going to go,” she said.
"I thought I am just going to try and jump and not hurt myself in the rain.
Abbey's mum, Kaylene, is very excited Abbey will have the chance to test herself against the best in the country.
"It was to go for a bit of training and we didn't expect her to do what she did,” she said.
The championships will take place at Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Center from March 14 until March 18.